The Major League Baseball season has only been officially delayed to May 10, but officials are circling June, or possibly even the All-Star Game on July 14, as a potential starting date.
This is according to a report from Jeff Passan of ESPN, who said the players and the league are still trying to play as close to 162 games as possible, even if the season does not start until June or July. That could mean extending the regular season through October and playing up to two double-headers per week.
To help get the season started as soon as possible, the second spring training period may be shorter than the estimated month it would take to get players ready. To compensate, teams may be allowed to carry more pitchers in the early stages of the season.
If the regular season is extended through October, playoff games in November could be played on neutral sites. If the coronavirus outbreak is not under control in some cities, those teams may need to play in empty stadiums or neutral sites, such as their spring training facilities.
Sources told Passan the players' union and MLB targeted Wednesday as a potential date to hammer out a myriad of issues, including getting pay to major and minor-league players, how to calculate MLB service time in an abbreviated season and how to do the amateur draft and international signing period. Thursday was supposed to be the start of the regular season before the league delayed suspended spring training and delayed the start of the campaign on Mar. 12.